AN ONGOING NEWSLETTER June 2005


For Those About To Die

Gladiatorial combat in Combat Zone
by Daniel Stevenson

In 2088 prisons were overcrowded and near to the bursting point. The solution was simple: Gladiatorial combat, battling to the death.

In 2088 the UK based Brittannia corporation faced a serious problem. Prisons were overcrowded and near to the bursting point. Prison riots started to happen with alarming regularity. The corporation wondered what alternative it would have other than to release the prisoners into the combat zones: Not a prospect it cherished. The last thing it needed was to strengthen the gangs.

Brittannia CEO Lord Stanley realized from the demand of film footage from the Combat Zones just what the citizens of the Corps wanted to see of an evening. They wanted to see action, violence and death. The bloodier and more spectacular the better. He hit on an idea to make Brittannia Corps lots of extra credits and to empty the prisons at the same time. The idea was simple, a gladiatorial combat competition battling to the death. The winner of which would be the last man standing.

The most hardened criminals on death row were offered a chance to compete in the competition, for a pardon, fame and fortune. Of course, they might get killed but that was the same risk most of them had been running every day of their lives. At least now they would die an honourable death.

Lord Stanley soon had recruited 20 killers. Whilst they trained the acquisitions department located a suitable property on the edge of the Corps. The gangs were removed, and a totally-enclosed high-tech arena was built around the ruins. There were no seats in the building: Every angle was covered by state of the art cameras, and every combatant would be fitted with a head mounted camera.

The first games ran over a week, televised live to the Corps. They were a a huge success, with a highly dangerous Biker known as Banzi being the champion. From here the games grew. Every death row or life criminal in Brittannia’s prisons was offered the option of competing in the games. There where some returning combatants from the previous games. BritCorp found most criminals engaged in the games unwilling to leave, with most coming back year after year until death or injury stopped them.

Two years later, troopers from BritCorp applied to take part in the contest. The following year the other UK Corps soon had troopers and criminals joining the competition, with some local street scum also applying. Not long after this Corps and military from around the globe sent people to compete in the games. Now the games run for several months, and Brittannia’s bank accounts grow fat, whilst its prisons start to empty. It is rumored that Brittannia troops have started to raid the combat zones looking for prisoners for the games.

In addition to this many other (mainly UK based) Corps have applied to have BritCorp stadiums built in their Corps. Corps in other parts of the world are simply just going ahead and building their own, and setting up their own games.

You will need:

Game miniatures, lots of terrain, Counters/markers for weapons and amour stashes. I would recommend at least one marker for each weapon and one each of Flak Jacket and Combat suit. However no more than one marker each of the amours may be deployed. Each marker represents one weapon or grenade. Heavy weapons can also be deployed into the arena.

Game Rules:

There are three types of games. Single, team and mixed group combat. Once in the arena all combatants must attempt to kill each other.

To improve your chances of survival the combatant must try to grab various weapons and equipment that is stashed around the arena. Once the equipment is picked up remove the counter and add the equipment to the warrior’s roster sheet. Once removed from play, a combatant will have dropped their weapons. Another combatant may pick them up at 2AP cost. Roll D6, on a 5 or 6 the weapon is empty or damaged and cannot be used. Weapons and armour stashes are optional, as a more even game can be played with everyone equipped the same. In this case all combatants are armed and equipped with anything from the lists. However they must be all equipped the same.

Single combat:

  • Anything up to six combatants (10 in larger arenas) can be in the arena at any time.
  • All combatants in the Arena are classed as individuals despite quality.
  • All combatants are competing against each other.
  • All combatants start the tournament with just Ablative armour, a dagger and a medium pistol, regardless of what is modeled on the miniature. Any combatant can pick up a weapon dropped or from a stash point at 2AP cost.
  • All combatants are trained to use all weapons found in the arena. The stash marker must then be removed.
  • Any combatant that gets to an armour stash may put on the armour at a 4AP cost. The counter must then be removed.
  • All combatants competing in arena must be of the same quality value.
  • Any combatant that gets a wound is out of the competition.
  • A combatant may choose to surrender, however they are out of the competition and lose any financial bonus.
  • A surrendered or wounded combatant cannot be harmed, any combatant who does so is immediately disqualified.
  • The last combatant alive is the winner. Any routing combatant cannot leave the table (as it is walled in), but must keep taking reaction tests until they throw off the reaction. The figure will then run around the walls of the arena (table edge) until the reaction is removed.

Team combat:

  • Teams are squads of three to ten members as per the rules and may be any quality.
    Squad/group coherency rules apply.
  • Any combatant that receives a wound is out of the competition.
  • All combatants start the tournament with just Ablative armour, a dagger and a medium pistol, regardless of what is modeled on the miniature. Comms units are provided as standard
  • Any combatant can pick up a weapon dropped or from a stash point at 2AP cost. All combatants are trained to use all weapons found in the arena. The stash marker must then be removed
  • Any combatant that gets to an armour stash may put on the armour at a 4AP cost. The counter may then be removed
  • When squads are down to two or less members they may surrender. Surrender rules apply (see above)
  • All squads must of the same points value.
  • Up to six teams may be in the arena at any one time.
  • The last team standing is the winner.
  • Any routing combatant cannot leave the table (as it is walled in), but must keep taking reaction tests until they throw off the reaction. The figure will then run around the walls of the arena (table edge) until the reaction is removed. Units will suffer lack of coherency if a warrior routs.

Mixed group combat:

This is a mix of the two games above. A single combatant of a higher quality must fight a team of lower quality combatants. The team must be of lower quality, and may consist of two or more members.

Team size VS Single combatant
Single
Quality
Team Size
Green Average Veteran Elite Hero
Green - - - - -
Average 2 - - - -
Veteran 3 2 - - -
Elite 4 3 2 - -
Hero 5 4 3 2 -
Squad/group coherency rules apply to teams only

Any combatant that receives a wound is out of the competition. All combatants start the tournament with just Ablative armour, a dagger and a medium pistol, regardless of what is modeled on the miniature. Comms units are provided for teams as standard. Any combatant can pick up a weapon dropped or from a stash point at 2AP cost. All combatants are trained to use all weapons found in the arena. The stash marker must then be removed. Any combatant that gets to an armour stash may put on the armour at a 4AP cost. The counter may then be removed.

When squads are down to two or less members they may surrender. Surrender rules apply (see above).

Any routing combatant cannot leave the table (as it is walled in), but must keep taking reaction tests until they throw off the reaction. The figure will then run around the walls of the arena (table edge) until the reaction is removed. Units will suffer lack of coherency if a warrior routs. The Arena:

The arena is a typical Combat Zone table. Lots of cover and places to hide are compulsory. It can be a typical street, City Block, an old factory, Chemical plant, mine, junkyard, warehouse ect. The corporation acquires suitable land and turns it into an arena. Of course don’t forget those hoardings and bill board posters for products the Corps want to push!

You should place weapons/armour stash counters in convenient places, but not too close to table/arena edges or deployment zones. You want to give the combatants something to sweat over.

Try to set up your terrain so that there are few fire corridors or little line of sight. Otherwise the game might be very sort indeed!

Set up:

For single games teams should set up at the edge of the arena, opposite each other. The same goes for team games. For mixed group games the squad can set up at one edge. The single combatant can set up either at the other end of the arena, of somewhere in the centre.

Financial gains:

Of course you may want to run a competition campaign. At the end of the game work out which combatants have survived the fight as per the rules outlined in the Battle book page 32. For every kill a combatant makes they gain the points value of the kill (i.e. killing a green combatant will gain you 3 points, average 7 points ect). For every other casualty the combatant makes you get half the points value rounded down (i.e. green 1 point, average 3 point, Veteran 6, Elite 10, Hero’s 35points). Surrendered figures lose all points they may have gained.

In addition the winning combatant will gain a further 50 points. These points can be spent to further your combatant’s career. Spend the points on combat skills as listed on page 33 of the Battle book, but at twice the cost. Quality advancements can also be bought for your warrior as per the rules on page 35 of the battle book, but at twice the cost.

Teams pool their points totals together however only get one 50 point prize for winning. Surrendered team members lose any points gained. Warrior skills and advancement are as the rules in the battle book, with the same costs. You also may have to draft in new recruits.

Recruits cost:
Green 3
Average 7
Veteran 13
Elite 20

You cannot recruit a member with a higher quality than the leader. If a team leader is killed a new one must be appointed from the team. This will cost 7 points, and the new leader must have the highest quality. Extra must be spent to bring the warriors quality up if needed. Promoting a warrior to subleader will cost 3 points.

Any unspent points go into the team or individual bank account. A record of this should be kept.

Modeling ideas:

A small arena can be created from a plastic drinks tray. These can be bought cheaply from pound/Dollar stores. They also come in a variety of shapes. Just add walls from card/foam board, flock the base, add some oil drums and crates and some obligatory advert posters and there you have an arena. Some trays have a chequred pattern non slip base that might pass as floor grills or plates. More experienced modelers may want to put some gantries or walkways in. You may want too add battle damage to the model too. And don’t forget the odd dried blood stain.

An even cheaper arena can be constructed from a cardboard box of a least 60cm x 60cm. Cut down the height of the box to around 50 to 75mm high. This can then be modeled to suit. Keep internal walls down to around 50mm high, as you want to be able to move the miniatures easily.

If you do not have a large enough box, several smaller boxes can put side by side. Just remember to cut doorways for the combatants to move from area to area. By placing doorways in the centre of each side of the boxes you can create a modular arena. This would provide a more challenging game as the fire corridors and LOS would be very short.

As some arenas are custom built, they can allow a variety of styles. You could have an arena in Medieval, Egyptian, Roman or Aztec styles. Let your imagination run riot.

For weapons markers use a small square of card with the weapon/equipment marked on. Alternatively you could model some with a spare weapon from the combat zone ganger/trooper sprue on card or slotta base. You will have to trim the arms and shave the hands off the weapons so take care. Alternatively some weapons from 1/35th model accessories could be pressed into use.

Flak, combat suits and riot shields can be just marked on a slotta base or a piece of card. Grenades can also be marked on the slotta base.

For purpose made teams and champions, don’t forget team colors, icons and more importantly the advertising on their kit!

Have fun and for those about to die…we salute you!

A shameless plug:

If you like Gladiatorial combat, em-4 has just released "Ludus Gladiatorius", a set of prepainted miniatures, complete with rules, dice, and an arena (Conveniently useful for CoZo!)


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